The boys of 21 Jump Street are back, bigger and better than before. Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and the talented directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are all back and headed to 22 Jump Street. This time around our favorite undercover cops from the Jump Street program, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are off to college to look for a new drug causing some series issues on campus. Thus once again zany, raunchy humor ensues for all to enjoy.
Sequels have a bad rap in Hollywood, and honestly most sequels are terrible. But not this one; unlike some other comedy franchises where the same joke or plot is reused over and over, here in 22 Jump Street they actively manage to avoid that, making this sequel just as fun as the first one. They keep everything that made you love the first one but give you more new stuff along the way.
Once again, right out of the gate, Deputy Chief Hardy, Nick Offerman, tells you straight up the plot and how things will play out. This time there are some new twists to mix it up. But over all the idea of the filmmakers and actors playing up this “meta” idea in their world is great. It sets the stage for jokes and allows you to not take the movie too seriously, knowing that it is going to be exactly what you want and need it to be.
The plot is of the guys going undercover in college: Jenko getting on the football team and hanging with frat brothers, Schmidt hanging with the drama/poetry kids or watching them drink everything in sight. It’s general stereotypical college things, that’s all great. But what really stands out is how these two actors, Tatum and Hill, make all that seems fresh with new humor and talent. These guys are great together. They work well on screen; their friendship is very relatable to anyone who has a BFF. They’re obviously having fun on set and it comes across in the movie. They’re having a blast, as you as the viewer should be too.
Tatum and Hill are just one part of a great comedy machine though. A lot of praise must also be given to the directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. These two guys are no strangers to comedy, having done the first Jump Street and The Lego Movie. They know what they’re doing. And just like the acting their talent comes across on screen. These movies are a well-oiled machine that knows how to hit the mark each time.
As we watch the guys get into more trouble and shenanigans they do manage to stay a step ahead of the drug dealer they are pursuing, even if they don’t know it. Jenko and Schmidt are having trouble dealing with their feelings as they find themselves drifting apart. Can their friendship survive? Each is having their own personal identity crisis. Jenko feels Schmidt is holding him back from something bigger, whereas Schmidt can’t keep up with Jenko’s new life. Each is going though something that everyone can relate to or has dealt with at one time. They gave the guys some real problems to deal with in between fart and dick jokes. Which is a credit to everyone, that the movie is so well done that while you’re laughing your head off you’re also feeling an emotional connection to these characters.
Along the way the guys pick up some new and old co-stars that are just as good as them. These characters fall right into place perfectly, as if they have always been there: art student Maya (Amber Stevens), her roommate Mercedes (Jillian Bell) and a pair of jocks, Zook (Wyatt Russell) and Rooster (Jimmy Tatro). There are amazing cameos by Rob Riggle and Dave Franco, reprising their roles from the first movie. And of course, last but in no way least, Ice Cube as Capt. Dickson.
Ice Cube is given a much bigger role in the movie this time around and is hilarious. He so works well along side of Tatum and Hill, almost becoming a third member of the team. He’s insulting to them and pretty much everything he says is R-rated comedy gold. He really was an enjoyable surprise in the movie.
Once more this is a hard R-rated movie that using the F-word in all sorts of new and colorful ways. If Hollywood is going to make a R-rated comedy it’s good to know that there are great talented people out there to make it a good one, and not just another movie that will be forgotten. 22 Jump Street is one of the good ones. If you loved the first movie then you’re sure to love this one. It’s like going back and spending time with some old friends. And the end credits are almost as great as the movie itself; some of the best jokes are towards the end, so don’t get up just yet! Over all this is a great funny summer flick to enjoy.